Economic Botany offers an up-to-date account of important crops grown worldwide. It provides detailed discussion on the history of plant exploration, migration, domestication and distribution, and crop improvement. The text starts with the origin and diversification of cultivated plants, followed by discussion on tropical, subtropical and temperate crops that are sources of food, beverages, spices and medicines, as well as plant insecticides, timber plants and essential oil-yielding plants. The genetic and evolutionary aspects of different plants and their health benefits are highlighted. Economic Botany covers topics dealing with biodiversity conservation, petro-crops, ethnobotanical studies, and important sub-tropical and temperate plants that have commercial importance. The significance of major plant species under each category is described in detail. Illustrated with numerous well-labelled line diagrams and pictures, Economic Botany will be useful for students of botany, food and nutrition, forestry, agriculture, horticulture, plant breeding and environmental science.
List of tables
List of figures
2. Fibre and fibre-yielding plants
3. Cereal crops
4. Sugars, starches, and cellulose products
5. Legumes or pulses
6. Vegetable oils and fats
7. Fruits and nuts
9. Spices, condiments and other flavourings
10. Fumitory and masticatory materials
12. Wood and its uses
13. Vegetable tannins and dyestuffs
15. Medicinal plants
16. Insecticides and herbicides
17. Essential oil-yielding plants
18. Plant diversity and its conservation
19. Petrocrops: our future fuels
Suggested supplementary readings
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S. L. Kochhar taught Economic Botany and Plant Physiology at Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, University of Delhi for more than four decades (1965-2007). His areas of interest are botany, plant science, tropical crops and plant physiology.